Equality for all is a fundamental component of sustainability

Wednesday, January 4, 2023

Written by Tracelyn Cornelius. This is an excerpt from an article originally published in Waterloo Magazine.

Tracelyn Cornelius (MEB ’21, PhD in progress) is the anti-racism communications manager in the University’s central communications unit. She is also a PhD student in the Sustainability Management program in the School of Environment, Enterprise and Development (SEED).    


Tracelyn CorneliusAs a full-time employee, mature part-time student and mother of three, I often question whether my decision to embark on PhD studies was a wise one. Reflecting on the numerous nights and weekends dedicated to reading, completing assignments, and participating in study groups, I wonder, “Is the commitment of time and energy really worth it?”  

I got the answer to these questions at the special ceremony held for 2020 and 2021 graduates during 2022 Spring Convocation, when I graduated with a master’s degree.  

As I crossed the stage, amidst the applause, I heard shouts of “Go Mommy” from my three children, who were in the audience. It was then that I knew, without a doubt, that my rigorous schedule and demanding workload were indeed worth it. 

Whenever I get the PhD blues, a term used to describe the combination of imposter syndrome and study-related anxiety, I remember this moment.   

As a member of Professor Amelia Clarke’s research team in the Sustainability Management program in the School of Environment, Enterprise and Development (SEED), I am part of a team building community by working with local municipalities to implement community sustainability and climate plans. Fortunately, my research focus, which involves embedding equity, diversity and inclusion into the tools and resources used for knowledge mobilization, complements the work I do for the University.   

Read the full story in Waterloo Magazine.

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